Challenge / Goal
The smart city project SmartEnCity started in Tartu in 2016. Its goal is to make the city environment smart and sustainable, to inspire people to make environmentally conscious decisions and to be easily replicable in other European cities as well. One of the major goals in this project is to demonstrate a comprehensive approach to retrofitting outdated panel buildings according to near zero energy standards.
This aligns with the general strategic objectives of Tartu's Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) - to decrease CO2 emissions, to consume less energy in final consumption and to increase the share of renewable energy. Specifically tartu plans
- Reducing heat energy in public buildings by 20%, while electricity is produced 100% from RES;
- Decreasing energy consumption in the housing sector by 20%, while 10% of consumers use renewable electricity;
In addition to fully retrofitting Tartu’s pilot area apartment buildings, smart home systems have been installed in each of the apartments. Generally speaking, the smart home system consists of a gateway (or several), a control panel as well as various sensors and meters that all exchange data through cable or radio communication. More specifically, the smart home solution includes the following elements:
- Control panel – a tablet computer that is used to control the devices and run the smart home app developed by Telia;
- Smoke detector – mounted on living room ceilings;
- Impulse counter – mounted on electricity meters and transmit energy consumption data;
- Smart thermostats – to control room temperature;
- Smart water and gas meters – to monitor consumption;
- CO2 detector – to control ventilation
The smart home system is connected to the Cumulocity cloud platform, which is used to exchange data between various stakeholders (residents, housing associations, city of Tartu, University of Tartu, Tartu Regional Energy Agency), devices and platforms. This data is the basis of empowering the consumers, leading to better decision-making and more energy-efficient behavior. Good data will also help service providers to make better investments and improvements in their value offers.
The collected energy consumption data is being mainly be used in three ways. Firstly, the data is used for automatically fine-tuning the parameters of heating and ventilation in the renovated buildings. Secondly, the data is used for providing end users with direct feedback about their consumption habits. Finally, the data will also be accessible to third parties like SMEs and startups for building up innovative services. The privacy of the end users will have key importance in this process.
The smart home solution that will be adopted in the pilot area apartments has been a continuous source of discussion at citizen engagement events and information meetings. Communicating the solution’s requirements, functionalities, risks, benefits and privacy issues to the pilot area residents has thus had key importance, especially as ca. 20% of these residents are 65+ years old and generally more cautious towards new technologies. Tartu’s local website that addresses the project activities (http://tarktartu.ee/eng/) has also seen many questions asked about the smart home solution in the forum. People’s concerns have mostly been related to the process of installing the solution, the functionality of the devices, the associated risks (e.g. electromagnetic radiation rate of the devices) and the related health hazards. As such, citizen engagement has been a natural part of planning and developing the smart home solution.
monitor temperature, smoke, indoor air quality and energy consumption using sensor
communicate sensor information through a gateway
analyse information from sensors and provide insights to customers
maintain good indoor air quality and comfort.
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Planing Time: 0.5 - 1 years
Implementation Time: 1 - 2 years
Pilot building residents, service provides, entrepreneurs and universities
Improving Energy Usage Efficiency,
Shaving peak Energy Demand,
Reducing energy bills,
Decreasing energy consumption in buildings,